Featured User: David T

To celebrate the community that makes Delectable great, today we begin a new series of features that highlight members who stand out for their breadth of expertise and passion. We are very excited to introduce our very first featured user, David T. After traveling for a decade to many of the world's great wine regions and meeting with distinguished wine producers, David decided to follow his passion and become a sommelier. With a suite of related qualifications under his belt, David currently works as an independent sommelier and wine educator, and is starting his own wine consulting company. We caught up with David to ask him a few questions and have selected a handful of his reviews over the previous few months. Be sure to follow David for his insightful reviews. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? David T: While working in sales, we often took clients out to dinner. One of those clients brought a magnum of 1987 Duckhorn Cabernet to dinner. It was the first time I’d had a quality Cabernet that was well stored and served around its peak bottle age. It only took one sip and I was in love. I knew at that very moment I would begin to invest heavily in collecting and aging wine. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? DT: My great love will always be Bordeaux. That said, based on my three-week trip this spring to Australia and New Zealand, my current infatuation is with well-made and well-aged Shiraz from Barossa & McLaren Vale in Australia and Central Otago Pinot Noir in New Zealand. I am also in the middle planning another market trip to several wine regions in Chile and Mendoza, Argentina in the coming year. D: What are some tips for aspiring connoisseurs? DT: Taste wines from all over the world. Taste outside your regular wine wheelhouse. You’ll find out just how enjoyable it can truly be, you’ll meet some wonderful people along the way and find out just how many good wines there are from all over the world. Take time to go to good retail wine shops and learn from the staff. Attend their tastings as well as other larger wine tasting events. Collect and age wine at the earliest age possible. You’ll be very happy you did as you get a little older. Read about wine producers and regions. I strongly recommend starting with Karen McNeill’s Wine Bible. I couldn’t put it down. D: What is your golden rule for wine? DT: Don’t drink your quality expensive red wines and age worthy whites too young. If patience is an issue, buy a bottle or two less of a producer’s new release and buy some good library wines on the secondary market simultaneously. If you do, you’ll save money, as many library wines can be purchased for less than the cost of a producer’s new releases, as long as you take the time to search for them. You’ll be doing your palate and wine budget a huge favor. For example, I recently bought the Morlet Family Vineyards 2006 inaugural vintage of their En Famille Pinot Noir. I paid $65 for it. Their 2015 released at $115. I not only saved basically 50%, but I drank a beautiful wine that was complex, well integrated and was also truly “ready” to be thoroughly enjoyed. D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? DT: It would have to be an 1870 Lafite-Rothschild! This is one of the very rarest of wines in the world. It is also said to be the best wine in the world by many Master Sommeliers. Shouldn’t we all strive to be our best?

Chris Ringland

Dry Grown Barossa Ranges Shiraz 2009

David T
9.8

Wow. This comes from Chris's estate outside his house. It's all dry farmed. Extremely low yields. It's entire yield is only 8 barrels. The fruit is so concentrated. Featured in the photos is; Chris and my wife Sofia, grapes from the property and his olive trees on his estate. His olive trees only yield one 375ml bottle per tree. This 09 is easy to drink but it's a still a baby...easily a 30 year plus wine. Words cannot describe the nuances in this wine. The elegant beauty & beast. It's mouthfeel so big and still so inviting. Luring you in layer by layer. It's starts with baked blue fruits, dark cassis, blackberries, blueberries, black cherries, black plums, layers of asian spice, spice-box, tarry notes. The tannins big yet silky. Slightly bitty but beautiful minerals from the clay, schist, quartz, and loamy top soils. The finish so good but my thoughts drifted to think about how good it's going to be in 10 more years. Chris tells me he has to spray the vines 4-6 times a year with an organic seaweed spray to hold down the acidity. I can't wait to try this wine at 20 years of age. I'm sure it will be close to a religious experience. As many great tastings that I've done, it's hard not to say this one is in the top three. Thank you Chris for sharing your time, knowledge and these amazing wines. It was an honor! — 2 years ago

Billy, Ira and 30 others liked this
Ron R

Ron R Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Good times for sure. I've never tasted this. Now I want to even more.
Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum

Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum

Can't wait for your yellow tail visit & postings😋
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Later today. Can't wait. Yum.

Chris Ringland

Randall's Hill Shiraz 1997

David T
9.7

This is an amazing bottle and that's a bit of an under statement. The nuances and complexity are stunning. A wine that knocks your socks off & blows your hair back. On the nose, beautifully soften spices, cherries, ripe blueberries, olallieberries, baked strawberries, black raspberries, plum, dry cranberries, touch of black licorice, light presence of burnt ambers, raspberry cola, touch of fruit liqueur notes, loamy soil and bright red florals. The wine glides on to the palate. Tannins nearly completely resolved and the body is medium, fresh, ripe fruits that glisten. Blackberries, dark cherries, strawberries, black raspberries, plum, blue fruits, dry cranberries, raspberries and raspberry cola that swirl on the palate. Everything in perfect harmony. The wine 20 years later is peaking. The nicest, softest dark spices in a wine I can remember. Mixed fruit licorice, a touch of crushed rocks, slight underbrush, mint & eucalyptus, bay leaf, menthol, scorched earth, perfect amount & intensity of baking spices; cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and light clove. Loamy soils, violets for days & fresh red florals with absolutely perfect mouthwatering acidity and a perfectly round, long, leaner fruit, lightly spiced finish that goes on & on. Producer and personal notes...he has been called iconic, a superstar, a hotshot and an "uber" winemaker. Chris Ringland arguably has made some of the best wines in Australia during the past 15-20 years. He was named Winemaker of the Year in 2006 for the Barossa Valley in Australia. Ringland, 57, now makes about 60 wines under several different labels in three countries, assisted by winemaking teams in Australia, California and Spain.The wines range from the $10 Evil Cabernet Sauvignon to $500 or more for select vintages of Chris Ringland Shiraz. Chris a native of New Zealand was given a winemaking kit for Christmas when he was 14. The catalyst to him becoming a great and legendary Winemaker. Later, he enrolled in the Roseworthy enology program at the University of South Australia. After graduating, he worked for a few years in New Zealand, California and France before ending up in the Barossa Valley. Chris also made Rockford wines for about 15 years before going out on his own. He made his first vintage of Three Rivers Shiraz (since renamed Chris Ringland Shiraz) in 1989. Ringland's Three Rivers made it here in early 1998. It was well reviewed by Parker and Ringland's career took off. Chris went into business with Philips. Their labels include Marquis Philips, R Winery and Darby & Joan. With the help of other winemakers, he makes Red Lion wines in California and Bodega Alto Moncayo and Bodegas El Nido wines in Spain. He has consulted on such wines as Henry's Drive Pillar Box Red. Chris is a superstar on the international stage but meeting him at his home, you'd never know it. Chris is humble...a farmer at heart and a Winemaker second. He is one of the smartest persons I've met who understands all aspects of the business, including marketing...not to leave out, one heck of nice person. Only meeting him for the first time, he welcomed my wife & I into his house, walked us through his Vineyard and shared a sliver of his tremendous knowledge. He also opened up four of his great wines, decanted them and laid out a spread of charcuterie to go along with his wines. You felt like family from the first handshake. Quite a treat meeting him and coming back to the US and finding this perfectly stored 97. Photos of our April visit to Chris's house. — a year ago

Sofia, Eric and 21 others liked this
TheSkip

TheSkip

Great note !
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@TheSkip Thank you!

Château Latour

Grand Vin de Château Latour Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1966

David T
10

Rustic fruits of; plum, figs, dates, herbs, grilled meats, very old leather and dry flowers on the nose. The color is still opaque with a garnet rim. The palate is stewed fruits; cooked rhubarb, baked plum, stewed dark cherries, dry cranberries, dry raspberries, rustic blackberries, figs, dates, stewed blueberries, black licorice anise, old leather, dry brown dusty soil, dry pebbles, dry brush, steeped tea, dry flowers, candied wood shavings, light spice, softened baking spices, beautiful acidity. There's great balance of fruit and earth, beautiful structure, long length and still perfect tension. The elegant long finish is second to none. 48 years in bottle and still such life due to the high acid 66 vintage. Latour is the king of kings for a reason and it's well deserved. Happy 5-0 Sofia. Love you!!! It continues to improve and put on weight as it opens up. It's so delicate & beautiful! Stunning with the wagyu beef. It's in the conversation for the best red wine I've had!!! — 2 years ago

Eric, Sofia and 29 others liked this
Ryan M

Ryan M

👏🏻👏🏻
Ryan M

Ryan M

@David Trumper join us on slack - your knowledge I'm sure would be welcomed by many. Feel free to send me an email. Ryan.Spencer.Mitchell@gmail.com
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Ryan, what is on slack? Not familiar with it.

Hendricks Wines

Gold Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

David T
9.7

On the nose, bold, ripe fruits of; blackberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, blueberries, dark cherries & black plum. Warm baking baking spices, mocha, light caramel, black cherry liqueur notes, rich dark soils, perfumed violets & lilacs. The body is round and full with powdery tannins. The fruits sing on the palate. There is waves of fruit, earth and florals that swirl and dance across your palette. The fruits are ripe, sweet and lush; blackberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, blueberries, dark cherries, black plum with juicy strawberries coming on strong at the mid palate. Black cherry cola/licorice, vanilla, light caramel, mocha, semi-sweet loamy dry soils, just a touch of crushed rock powder, soft spice-box, fresh tobacco leaf, perfumed violets & lilacs, round, rich, palate raining acidity and finish that is simply long, well balanced with perfect structure/length/tension and above all beautiful and elegant. It just swirls and dances endlessly & gloriously in the mouth. What mouth harmony! Photos of, vines in Stags Leap, Charles Hendricks, ripe fruit for the picking and one of mine and Charles favorite paintings. Producer notes and history...Charles Hendricks is one of the best Winemakers in Napa Valley. He is well grounded in the science of winemaking. As a 1982 UC Davis viticulture graduate, Charles was able to tailor his own curriculum, and was one of the earliest to integrate winemaking and viticulture course work. Having knowledge of both viticulture and enology forms the bases for well-rounded winemaking under varying circumstances; this is the making of a great Winemaker & consultant. His greatest gift is the ability to make wines the are elegant, beautiful and smooth young but will age effortlessly. Charles Hendricks sees himself as an assistant to the natural bounty of the vineyards. Using his knowledge and experience to guide and coax the very best from the wine grapes. Charles believes in minimal intervention in the wine cellar, but knows that if we leave nature completely on it own, we would be in the vinegar business! To quote him, “It is a wonderful game of hide and seek that we play with Mother Nature…It is natures glory to conceal, and the winemakers glory to reveal, to discover and to persuade the grapes to unveil their highest potential, It is the playfulness of guessing when and how much to step in, that is at the heart of the winemakers’ task." So true in his case. Charles makes his own label wines only when he has the very best of fruit. He is also is the Winemaker for Hope & Grace and until recently was the Winemaker for; Regusci, James Cole and T-Vine. In previous years, he's worked with; Viader, Barnett Vineyards & Paoletti Vineyards. He is truly a gifted Winemaker. If you are able, seek out and try his Henrick's Cabernet & Santa Lucia Pinot Noir, you absolutely won't regret it! @Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher — a year ago

Sofia, Shay and 23 others liked this
Phil A

Phil A Premium Badge

@David T Sounds fabulous, if I ever see his wines up here I will buy a couple of bottles without hesitation. Cheers 🍷🇨🇦
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Phil A Unless a bottle ends up on the secondary market, only available through the Hope & Grace tasting room in Yountville.
Phil A

Phil A Premium Badge

@David T David thanks for getting back.

The Standish Wine Company

Single Vineyard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2003

David T
9.8

I can’t pour enough praise on Dan and his talents. I don’t give many wines near perfect scores, but this merits one. The nose is a beautifully balanced mix of floral fruits, earth and spice. Blackberries, huckleberries, boysenberries, black plum, black raspberries, plum, black raspberries, poached strawberries, dark moist soils, loamy dry soil/clay, raspberry cola, smoked meats, medium dark spice, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, lilacs, violets and lavender. The balance is incredible...one of the most balanced wines I’ve had. The structure, tension and length are so close to perfect. It’s in the OMG realm. The tannins are nicely resolved but still have teeth. It’s gorgeously lush and rich. Blackberries, huckleberries, boysenberries, black plum, black raspberries, plum, black raspberries, poached strawberries, hues of blue fruits haunt the palate, dark moist soils, loamy dry soil/clay, raspberry cola, black licorice, touch herbaceous, smoked meats, medium dark spice, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, black & white pepper, dry crushed rocks, stones, lilacs, violets and lavender. The finish is heaven all the way around. To borrow Bordeaux terminology, this is First Growth Shiraz. If you don’t seek out Dan’s wines on the secondary market, you are missing something special. Not at all meant to be enjoyed young. This wine is in a very good spot and has another 10 years of life going forward. — a year ago

Jason, Shay and 19 others liked this
Shay A

Shay A Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Wow! What a score
Kim Stanbro

Kim Stanbro

Poached strawberries is a thing?
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Kim Stanbro yup...google it and see what comes up. 😋

Penfolds

Grange Bin 95 Shiraz 2012

David T
9.7

The 12 "Grange" is 98 Shiraz & 2% Cabernet. On the nose, black currants, blackberries, black plum black raspberries, hints of blue fruits. Supple spices, dark roasted coffee and dry decayed red florals. Palate reveals; M+ meaty tannins, expresso, anise, black currants, dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, black licorice, crushed rocks, spices intensify as it settles, violets, light tar, soft leather, dry dark florals, blueberries really shine on the mid palate & a presence of Portiness towards the end. The red fruits really don't distinguish themselves until late in the finish; poached strawberries, dark cherry, cherries. It's a great finish with perfect acidity. Photos are of the "Grange Cottage" the original owners lived in and a Penfold's decanter that's too expensive to ask the price. — a year ago

Sofia, Bob and 25 others liked this
Ron R

Ron R Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Very elegant. Great feedback from you down under @David T. Much appreciated.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Ron R Thanks for your note. Enjoy sharing all things wine.

The Standish Wine Company

The Relic Shiraz Blend 2004

David T
9.6

On the nose; a bit of a brett bomb to start. Even after 11 years in the bottle, it needed a good 2 hour decant. Stewed fruits of; huckleberry, boysenberries, blueberries, plums, black raspberries, dark & liqueured cherries. Black raspberry cola, figs & dates, black & white pepper, touch of smoke & grilled meats, menthol, used leather, dry stems, dark minerals, loamy dry top soil, right amount of baking spices, lilacs & liquid violets. The body is full, round & lush. Tannins perfectly resolved. They still have a little baby teeth. The structure, length, tension and balance are near perfect. Stewed fruits of; huckleberry, boysenberries, blueberries, plums, black raspberries, dark liqueured cherries & strawberries haunting the palate here and there. Black raspberry cola, figs & dates, black & white pepper, a touch of smoke & grilled meats, menthol, used leather, dry stems, dark minerals, loamy dry top soil, right amount & mix of baking spices, lilacs, liquid violets & red florals. The acidity is perfect and acts like a waterfall over the palate. The fruit floral, lightly spiced finish goes on and on and on. Standish does not have a U.S. importer as his wines are small productions and he has no issues selling nearly all of them down under. You can order from his mailing list but, the shipping costs from Australia are stupid. Look for bottles on the secondary markets. You’ll be glad you did. If you have or had reservations about Australian wine or Shiraz vs. Syrah, Dan’s wines will end those thoughts. We tasted with Dan at his winery in April. He is extremely knowledgeable and a very talented Winemaker. He made Torbreck for years before starting his own winery. Photos of; his Estate, Dan and his low yield vines. His yield was an extremely low half ton per acre on this vintage. — a year ago

Shay, Sofia and 23 others liked this
Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum

Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum

I’ve fallen for that one before, no thanks @Benchmark Wine Group
Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum

Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum

I’ve had many a Torbreck, my favorite Aussie wine.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher, this bottle & the bottle they have came from the same cellar. You have the assurance from my bottle. If it’s bad, I’ll reimburse you for it. How’s that? Just ship it in 60 degree weather rather than mid summer 90’s +. Shouldn’t be too hard this time of year.